November 12, 2012

A Yangist's Thought Experiments: 1: Murder, Suicide, Misery

Now and again, I daydream a nightmare.  These nightmares, after enough reflection, have instructed my ethical and metaethical positions quite succinctly, but almost always reaffirm or just slightly alter the positions which I most often defend.  However, I'd like to know how other people react to these nightmarish scenarios and whether they're inclined to conclude the same conclusions from the same thought experiments.

I'll be retelling the scenario as I thought it in an actual nightmare that I had.  I've adjusted some tertiary details.  If there is already an analogous trolley-car version of this thought experiment, please let me know.



You may complete your thought experiment here if the frame doesn't load correctly, and I'll update this blog with thoughtful responses.  If you answer these questions in your own blog or website, please forward the link to me in this blog's comments section.

Favorite Response:


I received a handful of responses in recent weeks.

My favorite response came on 12/9/2012 at 6:20:25.  He answered, "I cannot answer the question," and for the following reason:
"The situation ant the question is too unreal to have a real answer. It is impossible to imagine what I would do in such a situation."

I fully agree.  In fact, it's how I feel about most ethical thought experiments.

Also, Yangist texts do not clearly indicate that one response is more correct than another is.  This is why I call it a Yangist's thought experiment, and not a Yangist thought experiment.